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February 11, 1983

Complications From Bay Leaf Ingestion

Author Affiliations

University of Louisville

JAMA. 1983;249(6):729-730. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330300021020

To the Editor.—  We have recently encountered two patients with complications caused by the stem of a bay leaf (Laurus nobilis).

Report of Cases.—Case 1.—  A 45-year-old woman was admitted with a two-day history of cramping abdominal pain that had localized to the lower abdomen toward the right side. The abdomen was diffusely tender with guarding throughout, most severe in the right lower quadrant and accompanied by rebound tenderness. Bowel sounds were diminished. The leukocyte count was 8,000/cu mm, with a pronounced left shift. A presumptive diagnosis of acute appendicitis was made. At laparotomy, the appendix showed signs of periappendicitis but was otherwise normal. Thorough exploration disclosed Meckel's diverticulum about 75 cm from the ileocecal valve surrounded by a well-confirmed purulent collection. A green foreign body protruded through the wall of the diverticulum. Excision of the diverticulum and incidental appendectomy were accomplished without difficulty. Pathological examination of the